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Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon - FiftyFifty Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams BourbonImperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

534 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 534
Reviews: 176
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.06%
Wants: 255
Gots: 283 | FT: 24
Brewed by:
FiftyFifty Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Double / Imperial Stout |  11.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: largadeer on 12-02-2010)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 534 | Reviews: 176 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sarlacc83
4/5  rDev -7.8%

Photo of jh1982
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of afksports
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of shuajw
4.75/5  rDev +9.4%

Photo of bombadil
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Photo of DarthKostrizer
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Look: Pours black and totally opaque. 1/4 tan inch head and good retention for a small pour

Smell: The nose starts off with just a touch of bourbon and oak and then you get faint traces of the base beer coffee, roasted malt, and chocolate

Taste: The beer itself is a bit on the sweet side. The barrel aging definitely introduced a oak character to the beer that was not in the base beer. But besides that I dont think the barrel again really did a whole lot for the beer. I only got faint traces of bourbon

Mouthfeel: Full body and low carbonation and definitely leaves a nice coating in your mouth

Overall: Very good beer but not quite great but highly recommended and I would love to get more bottles of this

Photo of PaulStoneAnchor
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle 264

Appearance: Pours jet black with and tannish foam, along with a nice foam and some light lacing.

S: Sweet Oak and Bourbon, a nice honey malt, along with some graham cracker

T: Sweet bourbon, sweet oak, honey, graham cracker, some dark fruit, and some nice dark chocolate to finish.

M: The mouthfeel is nice with some light carbonation and a nice creaminess to it.

O: Overall, by far one of the best Eclipses I have had! I was lucky enough to try this at the 2010 prerelease party, and since then it has really turned into something amazing! I cannot believe how it has aged into such an amazing beer. I am absolutely amazed by how everything comes together in a really well-balanced packaged; you get the taste of the Totality( the base for Eclipse), with its sweet honey and dark chocolate, coffee characteristics, along with the sweet bourbon and sweet oakiness from the barrel. Everything comes together perfectly.

Photo of Retsinis
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

2010 Bottle # 608, cellared just shy of 1 year.

A: Poured from the black waxed sealed bomber bottle in a tulip glass, the beer is a black thick motor oil, with about 1/10 of an inch of head that forms to just a film resting on top, and then quickly dissipates to just razor thin ring of bubbles. When swirled, the light film of lace resurfaces. Light coating on the glass.

S: Initial scents are of oak, bourbon, mild vanilla, toast, and dark 80% chocolate. Also there is the touch of alcohol heat, medium roasted malt, and a mild touch of espresso.

T: Mirror the nose, flavors of vanilla, bourbon, medium roasted malt, oak, and dark chocolate. As it warmed, nuances of toast, a touch of honey, and a kiss of pepper are also present.

M: Light carbonation, light viscosity, mildly sticky.

O: Smooth. Having had totality, the barrel aging treatments do wonders to the base beer, though the beer, imo, could be improved with a better base beer recipe, as this I enjoyed, totality I would pass on. Though perhaps that is why the infusion is as remarkable as it is.

Photo of cbutova
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle #2296 purchased at Toronado in SF. No Cable Car so I figured this reasonably priced bottle would do the trick. Notes from SF trip.

A- Pitch black pour into a tulip with a mocha-brown head, silky texture and good retention. Frothy ring leaves some cryptic lacing webs down the glass.

S- Instantly reminds me of the good Bourbon aged stouts. The age on the beer gives it a relaxed, melded aroma, nothing feels harsh at all. Nice blend of whiskey, oak vanilla, caramel (aged), roast malt, cocoa.

T- Smooth and relaxed aged Bourbon aged stout. Roast malt, cocoa, whiskey, oak, vanilla take on an aged caramel malt sweetness very well. Some raisin and cherry dark fruit notes.

MF- Slicky, oily and thick body with low carbonation. A nice warming feel from the alcohol.

Reminds me instantly of Parabola 2011. A great blend of flavors and nothing harsh jumps out and takes over the beer. The aged flavors work out great. Thought the bartender was going to murder me after he had trouble getting the wax off the bottle, swearing profusely with a knife in his hand.

Photo of Auracom
3.73/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010, bottle #1389. Part of my stout tasting on October 22nd, 2011. 2-3 oz. into snifter. The second variant we opened. Certain parts copied over from the other Eclipse reviews.

A – Thin, semi-dark brown coloring. Lacking any sort of considerable head but showing a decent amount of alcohol on the sides of my glass.

S – Definitely more phenolic than Heaven’s Hill 2010. A bit harsh on the barrel aromas. Needed some sort of spice or sweetness component to cut the dominant bourbon and oak. Chocolate and roasted undertones.

T – Again, a rougher form of bourbon barrel upfront with a leathery, oaky finish. Considerable alcohol burn and warming on the backend.

M - Medium body. Carbonation is expected, decent medium-length finish.

D – Feels less integrated than Heaven’s Hill and Four Roses. The finish is the weakest component of this beer, by far, and it needed more age to mellow the bourbon and alcohol tones.

Photo of axeman9182
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle thanks to UMNbeerhunter. This one was allowed to warm for a bit before being poured into my Brooklyn Brewery tulip.

FiftyFifty Evan Williams aged Eclipse pours a solid black. The first pour yields only a finger or so of caramel head, but the second pours brings up two. Head retention is very good, but lacing is practically nonexistent. The nose has a lot of the components of a very good barrel aged stout, but the balance between them is a bit out of whack Oak and bourbon are the main events here, with rich milk chocolate and vanilla playing secondary notes. Ideally those would be flip flopped. The flavor acquits itself a bit better. Sweet milk chocolate and a nice vanilla note lay down the baseline. Where roasted coffee would provide the counterpoint in a regular stout, bourbon and oaky tannins come in here to balance things out and add a layer of complexity. The mouthfeel is pretty solid, carbonation is mild and out of the way, and there's a certain chewy quality to the body. The body could still stand to be a little more rich and full though. The Evan Williams aged Eclipse Imperial Stout is a very tasty beer, and a good one. I probably wouldn't trade what it would cost to get another bottle though, there are other just as good barrel aged stouts out there.

Photo of ne0m00re
4.08/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

09/15/11- Review of bottle 1302 of the 2010 release.
A: Opaque, tan creamy head, no lacing.
S: Thick sweet chocolate, brewer's licorice, nice strong vanilla, sweet cherry syrup.
T: Milky chocolate, nice vanilla caramel coffee cake, nutty (caramel-covered pecans), with crisp alcohol on the finish with a lingering brown sugar.
M: Thicker, creamy, crisp with a slowly developing carbonation.
O: I like it, but for a big bourbon stout, it's a little underwhelming.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.47/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

200th Review!
2010 Vintage

A: Motoroil pour, pitch black. Nice looking coffee bean head which hung around fora bit, eventually fading to a cap.

S: A big bourbon note, hovering above layers of fudgey chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. The aroma of this beer is assertive, yet so smooth.

T: Bourbon up front as expected. Very smooth transition into the sweet and fudgey chocolate character I remember from the nose. Layers of oak, leather, and vanilla lurk beneath, adding to complexity. Not a lot of char, roast, or burnt stuff. Pleasantly warming, yet so very drinkable.

M: Thick in body, carbonation is medium.

O: One of my favorite BA stouts to date.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4/5  rDev -7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From 22oz bottle to tasting glass at my 30th Beerthday Bash on 9/23/11
*From notes

Vintage 2010

A: Dark and rich brownish black. A good pour yields a one finger head and minor lacing, with little retention.

S: Some coconut, chocolate and malt, kinda like a fresh Mounds bar.

T: A bit of astringency, yet it's not overly tannic. This far in, I would have thought I'd find more balance, yet what I get is a lot of bourbon hitting hard on the fore to mid. The finish washes some of this away, allowing a bit of cocoa and char to pick up the pieces.

M: Not overly viscous. It's most certainly rich, yet there's an oiliness to it that, with a bit more body, would end up coming across like satin sheets.

O: FiftyFifty's Evan Williams Eclipse was the second best of the three we had (Four Roses being #1 and Rittenhouse Rye being #3). This is a really damn fine beer, yet it's lacking something, that extra "wow" factor to push it over the top.

All in all though, don't hesitate to check this out. Damn fine drinking, here.

Photo of claaark13
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2010 bottle poured into Founders snifter. Bottle #393.

A - Pours pretty black with a very thin tan head. The head dissipates quite quickly and leaves barely anything. Doesn't look fantastic, but looks nice. It sticks to the side of the glass a little to show the body. The fact that the lacing remains throughout the entire glass keeps the appearance of this one up.

S - Light fudge, light vanilla. The bourbon barrel is there, but it doesn't seem too overwhelming. There is a sweetness to be found as well. This seems a little too mild to me. It isn't that the aroma isn't good, it is that the aroma seems muted.

T - Slight fudge, vanilla, a little amount of hotness and then some nice charred oak. The oak has a slight vanilla tinge to it that blends well. After a few sips, it seems fairly balanced. The bourbon really dominates this one, so if that isn't your thing you should steer clear.

M - Medium but silky body with what seems like the right amount of carbonation. There is a little, but the silkiness breaks through the light carbonation nicely.

O - Pretty good beer. Nice BA stout. I'll drink it again in a year or so to see how things go.

Photo of baybassboy
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

HUGE thank you's go out to BdubleEdubleRUN and actone2001. Brett (BdubleEdubleRUN) traded Matthew (actone2001) for this Want, and then gifted it to me to celebrate the birth of my nephew (Evan C. Williams V) with my brother (Evan C. Williams IV) and dad (Evan C. Williams III). I cannot tell you 2 BA's how much I appreciate you making it possible for me to celebrate 5 generations with this one.

2010 Vintage. Bottle # had worn off. Split 3 ways on 9/26/11 with my share poured into my Stone IRS specialy tulip.

A: Pours a viscous black with slight bubbles forming to almost no head. Light mocha/straw, quarter finger head forms on the swirl.

S: Big bourbon smell hits you up front. Like i'm quaffing Evan Williams and not a stout. Slight sense of alcohol in the nose. Lots of charred oak. Suprisingly sweet smell of sugary chocolate.

T: Just like the smell. Bourbon, oak, vanilla hits you upfront. Smooth vanilla and light roast in the middle. A bit of sweetness (honey from the base beer?) Bourbon finish. Pretty rich throughout, yet finishes smooth. Very slight alcohol presence. Charred oak lingering taste for minutes after each sip; much like I have just taken a nip of EW.

M: Smooth yet not chewey. Does not coat the mouth all too much. Very slight carbonation. Similar to those last few sips of whiskey on the rocks when some of the ice has melted.

O: Definitely more whiskey/bourbon character lingering in this one than the other -bal beers I have had. That is the one thing that stuck out to me most about this one. Would love to have it again with a little/lot more time on it. Would like to see a few more stout characteristics, but overall, a far above average beer. A fitting way to celebrate the birth of my nephew!

Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

2010 vintage. Bottle # 2135.

Pours an opaque black with a very small 1/4 inch dark khaki head that fades to an oily cap. Random streaks and dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is very complex with bourbon, wood, vanilla, dark roasted malt, and cocoa powder. Taste is very rich and boozy with bourbon, vanilla, wood up front with roasted malt and cocoa flavors on the finish. A huge hit of bourbon alcohol lingers on the tongue and the back of the throat after each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a smooth mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good imperial stout with a strong bourbon presence in the flavor. I really enjoyed this beer and I consider myself lucky to find a bottle of this on a shelf in San Francisco. They had a few other bottles and I now wish I had purchased those too, even at the $25 per bottle price tag.

Photo of KickInTheChalice
3.98/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz. bomber into a tulip.

Appearance: The pour is nearly black with some soft brown bubbles that never truly form into a head. Very quickly I am looking at a viscous black liquid with no cap.

Smell: The smell is of the dark chocolate, espresso, and roasted malt that the other variants have, as well as a full and fairly rough bourbon aroma.

Taste: Strong Evan Williams flavor really dominates the flavor and the sweetness I have noticed in the other Eclipse treatments. Roasted malt, dark chocolate, some light dark fruits and a bit of espresso all blend together nicely, with a touch of woody oak at the end.

Mouthfeel: The body is on the full side of medium, with smooth, creamy carbonation and a bourbon stickiness.

Overall: Another good treatment of Eclipse, although the Evan Williams might be a bit harsh for my palate. My sense is that as this ages, it will develop nicely.

Photo of kingcrowing
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a flute, huge thanks to Nate for sharing this! My first FiftyFifty beers, so I'm really excited to see how this is!

Pours a dark, dark oily black with almost no head, very thick looking, nose is bourbon up and down, but it isn't hot on the nose as I usually expect from bourbon BA beers.

Taste is very rich and thick, the bourbon is balanced well with the dark sweet maltiness, it has a really nice finish that kinda coats your mouth with rich chocolate notes.

Photo of mmurphy525
3.58/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep black with some light coming through around the edges, absolutely no head.

I found this beer has a very mild nose with bourbon, oak, vanilla, and some sweet chocolate coming through.

Starts off with some nice bourbon flavours (mild not overpowering), vanilla, raisin, prune, caramel, and it finishes with a little bite of alcohol that lingers slightly. Not sure if this is just me, but I found it slightly hollow in the back end.

Much thinner then I was expecting, but it was still smooth and creamy, low carbonation.

Overall this is a good barrel aged stout, but I was not blown away.

Photo of Soonami
4.4/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to SidVicious619 for sending me this.

This beer is a beautiful black with virtually no head. It smells a little oxidized but has huge bourbon nose. The sweet, sweet stout has lots of vanilla and oaky bourbon. It's both smokey and creamy at the same time. This is a great beer, that is almost as good as the Four Roses, which I really enjoyed, I can only imagine how good Pappy and Elijah Craig are.

Photo of Dreadnaught33
4.45/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a very nice bourbon aged beer overall, thanks to Michael- yourefragile, for bringing this to a recent tasting at my place.

A: A Black hue with dark brown edges to the glass and great lacing, really an excellent web of lacing is left as I go through this beer.

S: Outstanding sweeter side of bourbon comes through, more of a gentler bourbon smell than most bourbon aged beers. Nice licorice and slight roasted malt with some smoke, chocolate, and then a sweetness I can only describe as cotton candy-like. '

T: Awesome taste, has a strong ale raisin and vanilla quality (I'm thinking like older viscosity-esque) with a marshmellow-cotton candy sweeter bourbon barrel and only a little roast. Lactose sugars, caramel, ripe banana mixed with dark fruit. Again, it really reminds me of Lost Abbey/Port Brewing.

M: Not as much roast as hoped, but nice and creamy on the palate and not as thick as most Double stouts.

Overall a nice beer I would certainly like to have again.

Photo of DovaliHops
4.33/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid a hefty price for this beer...but it was worth it IMO. Pours a dark black with little to no head. Scent is a TON of bourbon with a TON of chocolate. This thing is a Chocolate Bourbon bomb from the smell of it...and for the taste...Spot on! It is definitely a chocolate bourbon bomb. The bourbon is nicely blended with the flavor without being too hot or boozy. Lovely oak and vanilla flavors as well. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with decent carbonation. Not overly syrupy. Drinkability is high. Overall, this beer has the same components of a 13% barrel-aged imperial stout...but is awesome because it is under 10%ABV. Delicious beer!

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
4.68/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle #2129 into a snifter. Pours out thick and black with brown along the very edges when held to the light. The head is small (given the age and ABV, acceptable) and it leaves little dots of lace behind.

The smell is burnt coffee, chocolate and straight whisky with some earth backing it.

The taste has a chocolate bourbon front, very smooth, not too much fire. Though it's thick, it isn't too sticky. Very nice burnt malt middle with some honey to smooth it out. The finish has some earth and oak, but the oak doesn't dry it out too much.

This one is pretty damn good. I couldn't believe that I found it on the main stretch of Haight with ten bottles behind it. Very very good barrel aged stout. So are the rest so if you find one, GRAB IT.

Photo of cosmicevan
4.43/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

enjoyed this at a barrel aged tasting on 2011-08-06.

black as the dead of night. nice bourbon smell, seemed very similar to the BA speedway we just tried as being bourbon forward and somewhat similar on the nose. others in the group felt that they were drastically different. very sweet, the flavor is really nice and the bourbon seems to blend nicely with the base beer. thick, rich and tastey....kind of what you'd expect from a bourbon stout...great example for a bourbon aged stout.

*** ** * edit * ** ***
2013-01-30 2012 vintage. same look and general vibe, but once again the thing that sticks out is the incredible balance. great chocolate and booze and wood notes all in the right place. just delicious. another vintage, another winner.

Imperial Eclipse Stout - Evan Williams Bourbon from FiftyFifty Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 534 ratings.